Living networks : anniversary edition by Ross Dawson

By Ross Dawson

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The reality 50 Living Networks is that this is very difficult to implement, because it’s far more an issue of processes and people than the relatively straightforward technology component. In addition, having the technology to share information does not mean that it happens. Trust remains a major limiting factor that we will explore in detail in Chapter 4. The second driver of change is the vastly increasing complexity of product distribution. The term “supply chain” evokes images of products or their components moving along a series of links until they reach the endconsumer.

BiosGroup developed a series of agent-based studies, which use models of the behavior of the many elements of the supply chain, and examine what happens when key variables or policies are changed. One of the studies looked at Procter & Gamble’s policy of trying to wait until trucks were fully loaded before sending them to their clients. The models suggested that sending partially full trucks and pallets would reduce safety stock levels, and field experiments confirmed the results, providing immediate efficiency gains.

In Chapter 2 you saw how every industry has its own XML-based initiatives to enable easy information sharing and system integration between companies. This only ever happens because of a few leaders. They help to create benefits for everyone in the network, but their leadership also keeps them at the forefront of the resulting opportunities. Later in this chapter we will look at how Ingram Micro drove the birth of RosettaNet, a consortium that is developing information and process standards for the computer manufacturing industry.

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